Debt to Income Ratio

Blog Post Image

What is Debt-to-Income Ratio?

A good debt-to-income (DTI) ratio for home buying in Massachusetts, as well as in most parts of the United States, is typically 43% or lower. The DTI ratio is a crucial factor that lenders consider when assessing a borrower's ability to handle a mortgage. It represents the percentage of your gross monthly income that goes towards debt payments, including housing expenses and other debts.

To calculate your DTI ratio, follow these steps:

Add Up Your Monthly Debt Payments: Include all your monthly debt obligations, such as credit card payments, student loans, car loans, personal loans, and any other outstanding debts.
Determine Your Gross Monthly Income: This is your total income before taxes and other deductions. Include all sources of income, such as salary, bonuses, commissions, rental income, and any other regular income.  Cash Income is usually not considered.
Calculate the DTI Ratio: Divide your total monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income and multiply the result by 100 to get the percentage.
For example:

Total Monthly Debt Payments = $1,500
Gross Monthly Income = $5,000
DTI Ratio = ($1,500 / $5,000) * 100 = 30%
A DTI ratio of 30% or lower is generally considered favorable and indicates that you have a manageable level of debt relative to your income. Lenders often prefer borrowers with lower DTI ratios as it shows a higher ability to repay the mortgage without financial strain.

However, it's important to note that some mortgage programs, especially government-backed loans like FHA loans, may accept slightly higher DTI ratios, up to 50% in some cases. Nevertheless, having a DTI ratio below 43% increases your chances of qualifying for a mortgage and getting more favorable loan terms and interest rates.

Keep in mind that the specific requirements and guidelines can vary among lenders, and other factors such as credit score, down payment, and employment history will also play a role in the loan approval process. It's best to consult with a mortgage professional or lender to get personalized advice and understand the specific requirements for home buying in Massachusetts.